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chatbot, gender, gender neutral, male, female
Automation
Chris Knight

Should Your Chatbot Be Male, Female or Gender-Neutral?

A straw poll in the office shows the majority of business chatbots and virtual assistants are given a female gender and character. Is this right, does it benefit the customer and should it be the case in the future when every business has a bot? Tech and science writer Gemma Milne recent series of tweets questioned the demeaning and unnecessary portrayal of chatbots as women, the male-dominated ecosystem that builds them and several other concerns, with some valuable responses and more positive examples from the tech community. “Please, people who build chat bots, stop giving them female names and referring to them as ‘she’. Call them it. Use a made-up name. It’s so frustrating watching men present these startups on stage to a room full of men, talking about their pet female AI assistant they’ve invented.” She isn’t the first, there have been plenty of blogs on the subject, from

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A blue brain, seen from above, in circles with horizontal lines on either side, like those of a computer chip.
Automation
Avi Benezra

The Future of Chatbots in the Move to Online Conversation

By Avi Benezra Chatbots have already changed plenty over their short history, becoming smarter, broader and more capable of interacting with other services. The future of chatbots will see even greater diversity as they are folded into virtual assistants, while the big issues like ethical AI will make headlines and drive changes in how chatbots operate. The chatbot journey is one we are all going on, as business leaders, customers, health service users or travelers. Therefore, it is vital that we all understand where these bots are going, and the way they will join up with other technologies and services to improve and provide greater benefits for all of us. Technology innovation is a constant. Nothing stands still, with developers and vendors always pushing for the next version, that unique piece of differentiation or bolting on new features. As children of the cloud era, chatbots are already a well-advanced technology,

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marketing, chatbot, bot, network
Automation
Avi Benezra

The Prize of Chatbot Marketing

Guest post by Avi Benezra, CTO of SnatchBot. Now that chatbots are the new normal, companies and marketers need to attract people to get them using the bots and more interested in sharing information. Competitions and prizes are just one way to get users interesting in chatbots, and can make a welcome return in an era that’s too focused on taking customer data for free. Rock band Feeder has been touring the world recently, and shared an interesting post to get more people using the Facebook Messenger chatbot, Tallulah. She is helping to promote their new album and tour. Everyone who had a chat with her was entered into a contest to win an expensive guitar, while secondary prizes of guest list tickets and other goodies have helped to keep the conversation rolling beyond that initial engagement. Your business might not be a globe-trotting band, and your brand might not

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language, teacher, bots, robots
Automation
Yvonne Kiely

Chatbots Could Help Learners and Teachers in Language Education

More and more we find ourselves imagining the ways in which chatbots can assist us in our day-to-day lives. They have synergy with small tasks in our consumer habits and there is general agreement on their use value in ecommerce, healthcare and financial services. We understand that chatbots have commercial benefits, but when it comes to personal enrichment and individual gains, there is still much to be explored. AI powered language teachers are on the agenda for big players such as Duolingo, who since 2018 have stated that just because bots have been removed from the iOS app, “bots are not gone forever” and that “conversations are coming back in a more integrated way.” In 2016, Duolingo bots existed in three languages: French, Spanish, and German, and catered to native English speakers. They were removed two years later, perhaps to redesign for a less error prone application. Nevertheless, advances in

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robot, criminal, wanted
Automation
Chris Knight

Avoiding Chatbot Crime: The Burden of Proof on Your Chatbot and Its Users

Cyber crime, deep fakes, AI heists and political hacks all help to reduce our trust in technology. Chatbots will be on the frontline in the next generation of customer/consumer crime, and your bot needs to be ready with a range of bona fides to create and build trust. If you are at work in your accounts/finance office and you pick up the phone (assuming you still do, with all the robo/scam calls going on). Imagine the boss on a crackly line demanding you transfer a large sum to seal a big deal in a do-it-now-or-we-re-all-fired manner. That is starting to happen for real, except it isn’t your boss, it’s an AI voice emulator that sounds like your boss, perhaps based on a speech he gave online or a few YouTube clips. This is real crime today, and if someone can be fooled and pressured into sending money like that, then

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chatbot airlines
Automation
Namee Jani

AI Chatbots: Igniting a Revolution in the Airline Industry

The modern airline industry handles millions of passengers every day and is in a constant ordeal to make itself better. With the increase in the number of passengers, airline companies and airports have rapidly adopted innovative technologies to handle passenger requests, deliver information and get the most out of their existing resources. Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots have helped companies in communicating efficiently with passengers and deliver phenomenal experience. According to a report by SITA, 68% of airlines and 42% of airports are using AI-driven chatbots. In fact, Artificial Intelligence is one of the top 5 emerging technologies for airline companies with 52% of them looking to invest in AI in the coming period. Why have Chatbots suddenly become popular in the airline industry? Chatbots are designed to enhance the customer experience and airlines are desperate on scoring better on this front. Chatbots can be developed by airlines to provide prompt

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airport, robot, flight data
Automation
Chris Knight

Gatwick’s Chatbot Just the Latest in Aviation Bots

Gatwick Airport joins the growing number of aviation businesses making use of chatbots to help guide their huge numbers of customers around those sprawling hallways and to the right gate on time, with a refreshing display of commitment and business smarts. Last year, London’s second busiest runway at Gatwick Airport was thrown into chaos by unsubstantiated drone sightings, cancelling flights, with armed police swarming the perimeter and chaos in the terminals. After much hunting, there probably was no drone, but it highlights the problem and potential for drone misuse around any airport. A year later and Gatwick Airport has a drone of its own, a new chatbot called Gail on Facebook Messenger to interact with passengers and visitors. Gail can provide the usual flight information, a range of flight specific notifications like delays and gate changes, plus information about the airport shops, restaurants and other facilities. Ask her for a

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chatbot, bot, news, media
Automation
Yvonne Kiely

How ‘Chatbot’ Narratives Have Evolved in News Media: 1997-2019

It might seem as if words like ‘chatbot’, ‘AI’ and ‘machine learning’ have exploded in news media over the last ten years. That’s because they have and it’s really only in the last five years that the word ‘chatbot’ has become much more widespread and more commonly used by newspapers. Interestingly, it’s only in the last three years that ‘chatbot’ has become a casually inserted term within ordinary articles which are not explicitly about tech or AI: despite the fact that newspapers have been reporting on chatbots since the 1990s. The word ‘chatbot’ has become normalised in news media from its ‘chatterbot’ origins, and while the frequency of articles which casually make reference to chatbots has increased so have articles which mention chatbots alongside wider conversations about artificial intelligence. Ireland provides a useful case-study of the media and chatbots. The Irish Newspaper Archive is one of the most extensive online

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data breach, hack, cyber crime
Business
Chris Knight

The Risks of Chatbot Data Breaches and Privacy Issues Made Clear

With the news that Data Airline is filing a lawsuit against its chatbot provider, among endless IT breaches and disasters, the reality is now starkly clear that chatbots need to be secure and well-managed to protect the business and customers. The cloud is so easy and seductive, sign up for a service, create something amazing and off you go. That flexibility and access has been a huge boon, driving startups and helping departments get ahead of their plodding IT departments. However, in the charge to cool AI and chatbot products, or using the cloud for storage and third-party solutions, the need for cast-iron security becomes all the greater, and most businesses lack the expertise to manage that facet. This issue was brought to light by US airline Delta filing suit against [24]7ai,claiming it lacked the proper security procedures for the product, allowing hackers to alter the chatbot’s source code. And

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phone, stats, data, chatbot
Automation
Chris Knight

Chatbots Unlocking Customer Value and More as Technology Improves

As with other aspects of customer-technology, first there was the task, then came the data and then the need to manage and use it properly. Customer spreadsheets and databases became CRM tools, point of sales records became data for recommendation engines and marketing, and so on. The same is true with chatbots, as businesses look to leverage the data they provide to add value. Chatbots are rapidly changing the way that businesses interact with their clients, and how data is provided to their systems. It isn’t a massive change from previous generations, when a sales database became a tool for the whole organization to use, but still represents a change in how companies will work. Naturally, all of this assumes that the data is being stored in a suitable manner, following GDPR and other suitable legislation, and that the users have given explicit permission for you to use the data.

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